Instagram planning long-form videos?

08/06/2018

Instagram is reportedly considering dropping video length constraints, that would let users post clips longer than one hour.

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The Wall Street Journal reports on the new feature that would open new creative flexibility for users and bring Instagram closer in line with YouTube and its own parent company, Facebook.

The plan is described as tentative, so Instagram could ultimately decide against radically extending the maximum running time of videos on its platform.

The new feature “will focus on vertical video” according to the Journal.

Instagram Stories are already designed around that mobile-friendly format, and the report doesn’t clarify whether longer videos would be allowed only in that section of the app or also permitted in the main feed.

Currently, Instagram Stories are limited to a length of 15 seconds; videos in the main feed can run a little longer at 60 seconds.

The Stories feature had over 300 million daily active users as of last November.

Instagram itself has over 800 million users. The company has “in recent weeks” held discussions with potential partners (content creators and publishers) about the possibility of producing longer-form video.

Analysis

Josh Krichefski, CEO of MediaCom UK, commenting on the potential move:“Instagram toying with the idea of introducing one-hour long video is a remarkable step for the platform which prided itself on short-form content – originally 15 seconds and then 60 seconds. The idea of one hour videos would be a clear step-change for the social media platform and is reflective of the consumer demand for watching different types of content of different lengths. As other social media companies continue to innovate and change, Instagram won’t want to be left behind. Snapchat recently redesigned its UI to benefit both advertisers and consumers. Similarly, Facebook has upped its focus on streaming live sports, hiring Eurosport’s CEO earlier this year.

“While increasing video length won’t necessarily shake up the advertising industry, it certainly brings in opportunities for brands and advertisers to sate the consumer demand for varying forms of content. After all, it’s another creative avenue to explore. But the content must be just as compelling and engaging, otherwise the chances are the consumer will be scrolling down before you know it.”

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